At the start of the year, we pause to pick our New Year’s resolutions, make travel plans, purge closets and toy chests of unwanted items, and map out what it is that has us motivated for what lies ahead. And if you’re anything like me, it’s not official until you write it down.
So, I took the time to write down my top 23 reasons why I’m excited for this city, this year. It’s going to be a good one.
- The completion of the Cultural Trail will bring us a total of ten miles on its 10th Anniversary.
- Mike Epps debuts his HGTV show, Buying Back the Block, this summer. All set right here in his hometown.
- This June, Newfields will unveil three large-scale art installations in Virginia B. Fairbanks 100 Acres: Art and Nature Park. One of them showcases the stories of refugees.
The White River. The city has been undergoing one of the largest river redevelopment projects in the country (58 miles, to be exact) and 2023 will be the start of some of those tangible amenities.
- $30 million has been poured into the heart of our downtown with Gainbridge Fieldhouse welcoming the Bicentennial Unity Pavilion with art installations, community basketball court, seasonal ice skating, a restaurant and event space. This is the year for its debut – just in time for Indy to host the 2024 NBA All-Star Game.
- BUTTER 3 is returning. This event is so cool the New York Times is talking about it.
- The opening of Bottleworks gave us a craving for more repurposed buildings. The Stutz Building will continue to satisfy that craving when they open their new space with a Martha Hoover restaurant, Amelia’s bakery, coffee shop, car museum, restaurant, event space, bar, and more. I plan to post up in that alley space as much as possible this year.
- Indy will honor Wes Montgomery over the course of the year because this jazz legend with Indy roots celebrates 100 years. The Cabaret will perform a show in his honor and the annual Jazz Fest will be bigger than ever.
- Last year CBS National News covered the first-ever Major Taylor Bike Invitational with Major Taylor bike clubs coming from around the country to ride in his honor. The event will be back for year two it was so wildly successful.
- #9 is why this city needs and will get $100 million poured into new trails and current public trail enhancements. There will be no better time to dust off your two wheels and explore the city by bike.
- Restoration Hardware is expected to take over the Linden House mansion this year – with a restaurant on site.
- The Savannah Bananas are taking over Victory Field for two nights. Admittedly, I didn’t know who they were until everyone went bananas over this announcement.
- Promised Land as Proving Ground. As a free state, Indiana represented a Promised Land for some African American families, filled with economic opportunities and independence. It also served as a Proving Ground for this freedom, a place to develop faith and challenge democracy. This summer, Conner Prairie will debut an exhibit that dives into African American history and culture in Indiana.
- All eyes on Riverside Park this year as they open up the new Riverside Promenade and begin work on the Riverside Adventure Park.
- And did you hear? Thanks to our friends at Lilly Endowment, this city is getting $80 million pumped in our parks. Perhaps 2023’s theme should be ‘urban outdoors?’
- One particular park enhancement I’m particularly excited about is the additional $5 million the City is giving to improve the Kennedy-King Memorial Site. We’ll see a new celebration and event plaza, new eternal flame artwork, pavilion, walkways, and seated area. If you’ve never visited the Landmark for Peace, this must be on your 2023 Indy bucket list.
- Shovels are in the ground! Indy will begin work on an 800-room downtown Hilton Signia hotel (with rooftop bar!). While completion will be closer to 2026, let’s get excited for some more sparkle in our skyline.
- It’s a strong convention and event year, so fan favorite events like Gen Con will return, as will the fast-approaching NFL Combine, where fans get an inside look at student-athletes “interviewing” for their dream job. Of course, May will be packed with on-track action. (Nevermind the off-track action that will be taking place in the Snakepit with Kaskade and Shaq.)
- The Indy Zoo is getting a facelift with a new front entrance and Global Center for Species Survival.
- The opening of Borage in Speedway has the potential to crush my New Year’s resolution. You never turn down a Zoe Taylor pastry.
- It was music to my ears to learn that the two new music festivals that debuted in 2022 will be back for round two: Wonder Road and All IN.
- I’m selfishly excited to celebrate Visit Indy’s 100th Anniversary. In the world of destination marketing organizations, we’re old! We’re seasoned tourism pros and I think it shows by these other reasons why Indy is poised for BIG things in 2023.
- And finally, the barrage of #LoveIndy travel photos posted by visitors is enough travel inspiration to keep me excited all year long. So, I look forward to hearing about and seeing your travel plans to Indy. Check out our 2022 yearbook of visitor memories below.